Found By Jesus

"Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him. Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, 'This man receives sinners and eats with them.' So He told them this parable..." Luke 15:1-3

The Pharisees and the scribes had heard Jesus speak before. Each time they came with a critical attitude, wanting to find a reason to condemn Him. They sadly refused to open their eyes and their ears to hear His words and let them reveal what was hidden in their hearts: their need to recognize their own sin and to humbly confess and repent the sin that ruled their lives.  They were missing the "why" of Jesus’ coming: Jesus had come to save the lost! Upon hearing their grumbling, He told several parables.

Jesus first told the parable of the lost sheep, verses 4-6:

“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep, and lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”

The second parable Jesus told was the lost coin, verses 8-9. In the same way, it portrays the length the woman, who had ten silver coins and loses one, went searching and searching until she found her one lost coin. She also calls together her friends and neighbors to rejoice with her in finding the coin that had been lost, but now was found!

The third parable Jesus told was the prodigal son, verses 11-32. The son had chosen to leave his father and family and live his life his own way. When he had lost all he had and became impoverished, he came to his senses, returning to his father confessing his sin. The father doesn’t scold him or rebuke him, but gladly restores him to his former position as a son.  His love for his son is so great! Verses 21-24 give us a portion of the conversation between the son and his father:

“And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate.’”

You and I were at one time that lost sheep--that lost coin--and perhaps the prodigal, who chose to walk away. When Jesus searched for us--when we found ourselves found by Jesus--we humbly and gratefully allowed Him to carry us home, to restore us from our lost state, and rescue us from the bondage of our sin knowing our very life depended on Him.

Jesus came to save the lost. He came for you and for me. It is why he laid down His life at Calvary, taking all our sin upon the cross, knowing it was the only acceptable way redemption and salvation could be obtained for us whom He loved so deeply. These parables Jesus told that day speak to our hearts, letting us know we can never be so lost that Jesus’ love cannot find and restore us to Himself. We needed to recognize the "why" Jesus came and with faith believe His Word. And, we did!

At the end of each of the first two parables, we read that even the angels rejoice over each sinner who repents! The great love God has for the lost blesses my heart and my spirit! Jesus’ own words record it for us in scripture!

“I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Verse 7
“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Verse 10

Easter is coming this next weekend. It is a good time to once again remember Jesus has broken the bond of sin over us!  He died on the cross carrying our sin. He was buried, and on the third day, He rose again!

This Easter let it find you rejoicing you were His lamb that was found, rejoicing you were His coin that was found, rejoicing you were the prodigal returned, rejoicing that the angels and heaven also rejoice over your salvation, and above all, rejoicing in the God of your salvation!

On the cross
He said “It’s finished!”

On the cross
He said, “It’s done!”

The price was high,
He paid it all.

Come, ye sinner
Hear His call.

Receive His forgiveness,
Bend the knee.

And, know that heaven
Is yours for eternity!

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

by Pat Tingwall